WebOS was a mobile operating system originally created by Palm. Although initially popular amongst the tech crowd, webOS-powered smartphones and tablets never really caught on with mainstream users.
For example, HP’s TouchPad failed to take off until the company lowered the tablet’s price point to $99 during a last-minute fire sale to clear excess inventory. The problem for many who purchased the moribund tablet? There really isn’t that much in the way of new apps being developed for the TouchPad.
Enter Phoenix, which aims to alleviate the problem with for webOS devices. Basically, Phoenix is a Kickstarter project seeking to raise a cool $35,000 in an effort to cover development costs related to porting the OpenMobile Application Compatibility Layer over to the device. Once ACL is ported to webOS, users will be able to run Android apps on HP’s TouchPad.
The people behind the project recently hit their initial $35,000 goal, so the software is on track for a July launch. If Phoenix manages to raise sufficient (additional) funds, they plan to add support for apps requiring Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and up. Currently, the software only supports apps designed for the 2.x range of Android devices, which is rather limiting, at least for those want to run the latest games.
In addition, the developers behind Phoenix are also trying to work with hardware partners to launch a webOS-powered smartphone. Frankly, I’m not sure how or why the people behind Phoenix think yet another smartphone running a failed OS is a good idea, especially in today’s hyper-competitive market in which BlackBerry is struggling to maintain its relevance and Microsoft is barely eking out a semi-respectable share.